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Kofi Annan Education. (2012) 'Interventions A Life in War and Peace.'

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U.n. 22, Rwanda 15, Somalia 11, U.s. 10, Iraq 10, America 9, Bosnia 7, United Nations 5, Syria 5, Africa 4, Us 3, Bashar Al-assad 2, Clinton 2, Bush 2, Hosni Mubarak 2, Tony Blair 1, Hariri 1, Turkey 1, Blair 1, Hosni Mubarak Kofi Annan 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Kofi Annan  Education.  (2012)  
   'Interventions A Life in War and Peace.'  

    September 9, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00pm EDT  

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yet at the same time of course i adamantly oppose -- and there are those within the arab world to call for the destruction of israel. i most states including our own i have spent a lot of time in pine ridge for the book found on the historical injustices but i think that we have to work out as what he wanted to an accommodation whereby which both people can live in dignity. ..
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hosni mubarak kofi annan, thank you very much for joining me tonight on "after words." the book is about inventions. he spent a lot of time writing about the subject in the book and the reiterate your thoughts that it was not a legitimate war. that 9/11 changed the world from the consequences of the iraq war were similarly dramatic in magnitude. when you say that? >> guest: the iraq war rarely mentioned interaction with the community. i'm not just talking about the u.n. communities and groups in the middle east. and also beyond. the things that the world has been broken into groups, or some
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are being targeted or profiled, felt very who felt very strongly about this. this is about more on which the committee was divided. the council did not approve it. some believe we should been giving the inspectors the weapons inspectors more time to do their work in iraq and come back to the council, that if you do not perform, there would be serious consequences. to determine what those consequences should be. obviously, when it comes to use of force, any country one attack has a right to defend itself. but when it comes to broader peace and security issues, one cannot do it without the unique
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legitimacy of the figurative narration. >> host: is not a war that is still interested, although it is extreme terrorism, as it is everyday. >> guest: the impact on iraq and the iraqis is hard for the iraqis. i was in july talking to the prime minister. we discussed syria and he was very concerned about what could happen or it using your own experience and telling me that, of course, that war in iraq. they rushed to fight. i think we are likely to see the same in syria if we don't handle
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it properly hosni mubarak there is still a global impact from iraq? you start the book with a very revealing story about colin powell who came to you after the invasion it look like americans might be able to find weapons of mass destruction. mr. colin powell said, with a big smile, they have made an honest man of me. when he mean by that? >> guest: i can understand that. i think basically he made the case for weapons of mass destruction in iraq. for a while, we couldn't find anything. so if they had found it, it was an indication that finally, we have found something. and it was more of a relief than anything else. >> host: you think he made a case he didn't leave an? >> guest: i'm not sure. i'm not sure i can say that. that obviously he had a stature and he had a very high
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reputation. he was extremely well-liked by the international community and all of the foreign ministers. as i said some time ago, he had incredible credibility. >> host: you feel that his presentation to the united nations, which was so critical in making the bush administration's case when invading iraq, it was justified? >> guest: i think from what we have seen, there were no weapons of mass disruption. i am not sure with or without the presentation, the bush administration would not have gone to war anyway. i think they had decided to go hosni mubarak you are quite pointed in your criticism of america when it comes to the war in iraq. you write that the perception of much of the global community was that america was enraged and vengeful. >> that is correct. in the sense that immediately
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after 9/11, you would recall there is incredible outpouring of support. they said, will why do they hat? and i said, michael, that's the wrong question. the right question would be we have so many friends. how did we lose them. anyone in this way may get into trouble and people were scared. scared of america, scared to speak up and to say what they believe in red and i could see
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this around the world, talking to them, which was unfortunate because the u.s. had done so much to create the u.n., so much for democracy. to suddenly find itself in a situation was a precarious one. >> host: obviously when we write a book we choose which anecdote and words to repeat in it. the fact that you chose to point out that criticism, albeit from the global community and use the words enraged and vengeful, is that what you felt america was acting like? is that what you felt was driving america? >> guest: let me put it this way. but they were so determined to take action that i am not sure they were ready to listen. and they were ready to listen to other views. when it comes to friends as well as foes. in that situation come of you do
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make mistakes. you will also provoke others. >> host: just in the last few days, the archbishop tutu has called for george bush and tony like to answer the international criminal court for lying about weapons of mass distraction. would you go as far as to support the archbishop's call? >> guest: i think that men in leadership make many decisions. they get some right. they get some wrong. the war in iraq was a huge error. hugely important and the impact is there for all of us to see. they obviously have to live with the consequences of those decisions and history will judge them. history will judge them, and they are both men who have done
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some very positive things in other aspects, both president bush and tony blair. but they got the judgment wrong in that case. the. >> host: you don't think that there is a case of international criminal court? >> guest: i don't see a case, in fact, and i don't think that the court would take any action. no, no, i would not go that far does not reading your chapters on iraq, what is the role of the secretary general? because you were critical at the time. and i wonder whether you saw your position is that of a doctor or a referee, in terms of america. >> guest: i think that it was a vote in more than that. when the organization or
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security council in particular gets divided, the secretary general becomes very tricky. the secretary general has to keep working to bring the community together, to get them to work together to find a solution. division is not good in any human endeavor, to have division. what is important is to find the leadership to pull people together and identify the common interest and move forward work on them. the secretary general, even when you are engaged in action by a group of members, and you are criticized, yes, you should speak out, but you should also know that you have to remain viable to be able to play the conciliatory role and bring in the two sides together after the fight is over. hosni mubarak that is very tricky. because it is really if you speak out, you are forgetting
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some of your credit with the people you have criticized. >> guest: the people you have criticized, yes. those people sometimes have to be explained. saying that they knew that the war was going to lead to major disasters. it's easy to win the war, but winning the peace is even more challenging. i was self-conscious about when we were needed for peace. when it came to picking up the pieces after the war. and that is what has happened. the organization felt that they had an obligation to all the iraqi people and redeem their sovereignty and determine what the future would be. so when the council gave us a mandate to help, we all went to try to see what we could do. obviously, we had some tragic consequences, losing some of our best men and women. but the secretary general in
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these situations -- it is very tricky. but you have to navigate it. >> host: during those long weeks when you are pushing for effective resolution and so much attention was focused on you and you realize that america was pushing for this war -- what is going through your mind personally, and how frustrating was that. >> guest: what was going through my mind was is this war unavoidable. must we have this war. i was also on the phone with lots of leaders around the world. in africa and with president bush and blair himself. i was really that ends with war with every fire -- every fiber
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of my being. but i was relieved that the council did not give out approval for the war. it would have been a disaster for the united nations. at the time americans were upset at the u.n. and the council, but they had not supported the war. but i think today, many americans understand why. perhaps they appreciate it. but the council and the u.n. took the right decision hosni mubarak what was the tone of your conversation with president bush at the end? >> it was that he was determined to act. he was determined to take action. he was determined to ensure that saddam hussein does not give the u.n. and international committee the run around anymore. he was absolutely determined and also convinced that he was taking the right decision. >> host: is a frustrating?
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was the entry? >> guest: no, he was fair. but i would say that he was angry in the conversations with me hosni mubarak let's talk about peacekeeping. it is something you have spent a lot of time on in the book is well as well and something you have spent a lot of time on in your career before that, you were head of the u.n. peacekeeping resolutions. one has called your book a study in noble ideas of peacekeeping. is that fair? >> guest: i would answer in two different ways. some points he makes are correct, and perhaps i should ask the question, when we talk of united nations in this context, who are we talking about?
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is it the states who take the decisions and give us a mandate, who give us the resources required to carry out the mandate, or sometimes not give us the resources to carry out the mandate. were we are talking about the secretary on the secretary general. because the u.n. is us. your government and mine. sometimes we talk about the u.n. aspect and by doing that, we are giving the governments who are ultimately responsible for action or inaction in some of these ways, an alibi and blaming the secretary and secretary general. one of my predecessors used to say that we often refer to the secretary general as cheap for
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short. history doesn't stand for the secretary general to be the scapegoat. [laughter] hosni mubarak you are the world scapegoating sheet. >> we have to be careful not to use it as an alibi. really, when we talk of the failures of somalia, rwanda, bosnia, and i tried to explain the unwillingness of government and troops -- we made mistakes. we could have done things differently. in the investigations that i had gone to do on rwanda and rwanda in particular said that the only reason for failure was lack of will to act a day when we look
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at this, since we also have to consider context and taking enough time to answer your question because i think it's important -- and somalia where president bush's father sent in thousands of soldiers to feed hungry samoans, it was an incredible and noble initiative. he did it at the time of the elections and he was leaving office, but he took that decision and the soldiers went in and did whatever they could. of course, this mollies were fighting in unresisting, and sometimes you have food in warehouses, but you couldn't get it to the people. so they came in and broke up that locked down so that we could feed the people. and then they threw in the operation, black hawk was shut
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down and the u.s. relinquished troops. but the troops let somalia were not as the u.s. troops. almost every western government withdrew their troops. they let somalia, the best armed troops. in the end, we had to close it down because it collapsed. this was the end of 1993. in the beginning of 1994, we had to run. when governments go through this period, they become risktakers no one was ready to send in additional troops. >> host: you write that in rwanda they had been watching somalia. >> guest: that is correct. they said we also watched tnn. and there was something similar.
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they killed 10 belgian soldiers in the battalion was with john. this reluctance gave instructions to protect only themselves. so the commander was left with several hundred men to do his work with the formation of claim and the systematic genocide is going on. and the helpless situation. but we couldn't get the troops. some governments claim they did not know what was happening. then i asked him, what did they do when they found out it was happening? they sent in planes. and allowed it to continue. in the end, we blame the u.n. we all need to find a better way of tackling this, and, of course, somalia, rwanda, bosnia and others.
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that was one of the reasons why i felt that we need to find a way of tackling these crises better, and that led to the responsibility to protect. >> host: talk a little bit more about some of the specific cases. you have an extraordinary account in the book. in january of 1994, we are receiving a cable from an informant in rwanda who basically told you exactly what was going to happen. and it did happen. so the idea that things take us by surprise, we don't know what's happening, you had the information and you yourself spend time calling heads of government to ask for more troops. >> guest: yes. the general delay was a commander who met with an informant who claimed at the time to have information that the plan took care of.
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there was enormous cachet. a massive amount of arms that he knew had been collected and that he could take back to the location. and then they thought maybe you should go ahead and do it. we, the headquarters, advised him to be careful. if you don't have the mandate and you don't have the means. sometimes, it is one of the most difficult decisions for peacekeeper. you can make a stand now but if you have limited resources and the others call for reinforcements, there is nothing you can do. in that situation, given the somalia example, the forces would have withdrawn and he lost two thirds of his force when this happened.
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and so it wasn't because of callousness that he should be careful, he didn't have a mandate. it was the realistic assessment of the appetite to take out these kinds of crises. honestly, i don't think we would've had the resources we need to help. and so we took the path to be careful. >> host: when you look at rwanda, you look at the 800,000 people being massacred in three months. in retrospect, is there something different you could've done? >> i think one area that we discussed -- it was a very shy subject in the media. we could have used the media as a tool. to put pressure on the government's to offer resources.
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not that we necessarily would have received back, but we could have put and he was the media and shouted from the rooftops to tell what has happened. i don't think i could've had much impact on the people in rwanda. the other nations outside rwanda and people outside rwanda may have said that we cannot sit back, let's do something. what that something is, i do not know. >> host: when he says to the government in your phone calls with heads of state and rwanda was starting to unfold, he knew that this was happening. what was it that they said to you -- the reason for not getting troops? >> guest: i also spoke to the ambassador, so i think possibly the reason is we will think about it and then we will come back, which can barely manage no. we don't have the resources.
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we don't have the men. and you never really got a positive response that you needed to be able to build an air force. in fact, at that time, i had a canadian military adviser in the department of peacekeeping. general maurice tellier. and we had to come up with a system for these arrangements where we had to ask each government to ask in time of crisis, if we were to approach you, what would you do. what would you get. some said that we would give a battalion or they said a hospital, others said we will give you a patrol car. or cars. until he tested them, he came back and said, sir, we tested
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the system. it is very effective, it works well, and i said, what were the results? so we have the ability to know his reaction, you know, and, of course, if they don't want to give them to you, there is nothing that we can do. also, the u.n. it discourages some governments but in the sense when we borrow the troops we pay thousands of dollars per man per woman for their service. it cost the government support to five times were eight times as much. >> host: we will get over to bosnia and just a second. but in a sense, what you described in somalia and rwanda get to the heart of what is
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written about. in the sense that there is no -- the times when u.n. peacekeepers are needed or call four, are related to the times when a superpower doesn't feel that it is in its key interest to intervene. but they've always be seen in a slightly marginal aspect of national security interest. can it ever work when these countries feel that it's not something they have to intervene for? >> guest: uri. before the collapse of the war, when gorbachev ended the system, we have a situation where most of the peacekeepers came from countries outside the security council. because there was a thing that you may politicize the operations.
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after 1989, some of them participated in these peacekeeping operations, which was in some cases helpful. because they had the best training and well-equipped men and women that could do this job. the peacekeeper is usually a well-trained soldier, if not a soldier, they are the only ones that can do it effectively. when the countries of interest are able to put together a coalition of the willing, and times under the u.n. policy, they have to go in and act, where they have no interest is the commission that you describe, precisely what happens, and in fact, there are people that the u.n. used to describe some crisis is orphaned, orphaned in the sense that they have no -- a big powerful country isn't
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interested and they leave the fight for the peacekeepers. and for the coalition of the women and there is no real national interest, and this is what what bush senior was quite extraordinary about. and clinton followed in somalia. because there was no marginal interest. but compassion and on humanitarian grounds. to propel them to go in. >> host: we talk about africa and more of the interventions in just a moment. we are going to take a quick break. >> guest: thank you. >> are you on the go? "after words" is available via podcast through itunes and xml. as a booktv.org and click on podcast on the upper left-hand side of the page. select which one you would like to download and listen to afterwards while you travel.
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>> host: mr. kofi annan, before the break, we were talking about rwanda and somalia. in cases where there is not national security for a national power, and whether peacekeeping can have a true champion. 1.5 years after rwanda, we had the massacre incident. both were little different because it was in the heart of europe. and there was more of a security interest to get involved with european powers. >> guest: you are absolutely right. bosnia was different. bosnia had the attention. bosnia have the forces required that rwanda did not have. there were issues, but of a different kind. the europeans have deployed troops through the u.n. peacekeeping and subsequently, through nato.
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[inaudible] they had taken the u.n. peacekeepers as hostage. this really unnerved the governments. that is another aspect of peacekeeping. we do not prepare the population for the possibility that there could be risks, and we give the impression that it is always risk free. when do -- when you do get into these situations and the population gets buried side and the politicians panic, and often i say bring the boys home. there is that weakness in the peacekeeping operation. they would take the casualties. sometimes, they even reinforce the troops so that they can get the work done.
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in bosnia, what had happened was at one stage when it became clear that firm action was needed to be taken against the bosnians, the europeans did not want to use their power. they felt they could place their men and women deployed their efforts. u.s. had no troops on the ground, they wanted to use their power. in this led to a long stand until that was resolved. in fact, i remember one of the u.n. commanders a general quarter frenchman in an interview saying that we need troops now in the u.s. will say that they will come when there is peace. and this is not very courageous. this made my good friend absolutely furious. in fact, it was not correct for him. but that was the sort of tension
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that involved that attack. when their power was brought to bear, he eventually lead them to the peace talks with richard holbrook, who pushed for this effort. >> host: in july of 1995, [inaudible] united nations peacekeeping stood by and let it happen. >> guest: i would not use the phrase that they let it happen. the united peacekeepers. we had a dutch group, rather small group, this is a part of the problem. in the sense that i was very much involved when they started talking of establishing safe areas, i had my commanders do a
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study, a study of what would the requirement be to make the save. truly say. there were two things they suggested. one is why do nothing to get beyond the range so that they can attack people. again, it will require 82,000 troops. in fact, in the mandate, there was nowhere for protection or anything. the same rules established the safe area. they went to the weakest option of 7600 in the areas. when you do that, the diameter
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wasn't wide enough. they didn't have the resources to do it properly. and the peacekeepers -- and there were several that were agreed to. so the peacekeepers who were there and server ninja, when they were led by the saverin armies, they could not defend themselves. >> host: did they make a mockery? >> guest: i would not argue with that. and this is the other point i was going to make. if you say that you are bringing people to protect you and we have a safe haven, the sense that people get is finally. finally they are going to be safe. there is a safe haven, the u.n. troops are here and nothing bad will happen.
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to allow the expectation to stand rather than being realistic, to explain to the people on the public what we can do is part of the problem with the u.n. peacekeeping. because i saw it in lebanon, southern lebanon. they think the government around them will be provide a safety. >> host: you don't think that the dutch could've done any more than they did? >> guest: they did not have the resources. they could have fought, but they didn't have the sort of weapons and they were completely outdone and -- >> host: when the dutch government had its own commission, the whole government
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[inaudible] [talking over each other] [talking over each other] >> guest: it was also an impossible situation with those troops there in. i used to talk to a lot of the commanders. and i think i have made this point. yes, what we can take them on. let's say you have 1000 dutch soldiers in the enclave. and they come with reinforcements of 10,000 tomorrow. and they have no means of getting reinforcements. and at that time, the air cover wasn't that effective. and so the commanders on time say -- they make judgments that we, on the outside may not agree with, but we also know that the mandate -- when we take on these operations, we should go when
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with necessary force to be able to get the work done. in peacekeeping we have a theory that you sometimes have to show for us in order not to use force. for example, when the u.s. went to somalia, with all the resources -- there was no way the somali rebels would take them on. but the u.n. often doesn't have that force. we don't have force to get the essential work done. the story i was going to tell was the minimum -- for the safe areas -- we have the minimum resources required and the mandate read that the peacekeepers should use the operations to dissuade attacks
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on the enclaves. we haven't asked you to protect them because we know we don't -- you don't have the means. this is why we have chosen her words very carefully. use your presence in this way. they are so well behaved and so gentlemanly, but if they see a u.n. helmet, they won't shoot. >> host: you stand by the peacekeepers -- but that's peacekeeping operation. you don't think that they should have done more than they did? >> guest: i really do not see how much more they could have done. after the fact, in hindsight, people come up with all sorts of things that they should have done what they could have done. they could've bought and taken great risks for themselves and the others. and i'm sure it they would have
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done it for sheer reinforcement, a force on the horizon that will come to their aid. >> host: a lot of the incidents we have talked about earlier that happened in africa, you are not shy being from ghana. the military regime, and you also write that africans would not be able to detect my voice easily as they could others. you think the words to africa you may have had a lasting impact? >> guest: yes, i can give you an example. my first term, it was an organization of african states. it was end hariri that i decided i should talk very clearly. to the african leaders and
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africans about the military and government and suggest to them that we should not encourage and criticize, those who take part by force and they have to really respect the rule a lot. two years later, it had become a rule in the african community, they will not accept people who come to power by force. in fact, i recall one of the leaders saying in every game you have rules. if you misbehave, we issue a red card. we will not welcome them here. since then, they have been caught off guard in some ways and they are prevented from joining the other heads of
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state. this is an example that i have bought the u.n. would follow. and make it universal elisa test had an impact on africa. i also have made statements on governments and human rights and the rule of law. civil society and courtney and not go to jail. if they made some of these statements by themselves, they get into trouble. i felt with the robust civil society, we should empower them and encourage them to speak out and put pressure on the government. to do the right thing and be respectful to the rule of law and human rights. we are seeing lots of progress and i have seen some very good ngos on the continent.
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so i think in that way, it could be dismissed as an old colonialist is trying to interfere. selected speak frankly to them and most of the time it would do go well with. >> host: did you ever have frank conversations with the secretary general? >> guest: yes, i met him on many occasions. we talked about health issues. we talked about the fight against hiv and aids and i remember trying to encourage him to get the people to use condoms zimbabwe was really hit by the epidemic and he was quite religious and trained to reassure him. i told him i think you should think about it.
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and he said when it comes to condoms, i won't budge. he wasn't the only one. there was another head of state who i tried to encourage to speak up. speak up on hiv and aids. it was a constant issue of silence on the issue. yet it was a situation where silence meant death. we should speak out and educate and encourage them to be speaking about contraception and increase their programs. he said i am the father of the nation and i cannot go out to speak to my people and encourage them to be promiscuous. >> host: even seen as part of your role in the united nations and secretary-general, or more probably, the global statement,
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to turn to him and say, it's time for you to leave office, your people are suffering under your rule. you feel like it is having that kind of role in the world? >> guest: i have spoken to him about he and other leaders about the future. about the time but i cannot talk about the authority or the power to say that you leave office. whether they secretary-general or two days of statement. i can talk in terms of look around you. see what is happening in the middle east. there are strong winds of transition blowing. and you should plan ahead.
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you should think of the future and you should think of when you move on and what you're going to do next. i can discuss it with them in that context. but i cannot go and say, you must leave and resign. after all, [inaudible] they have made a general statement and that the democratic rotation of leadership must work. i cannot count on the table and demand that they do. >> host: okay we are talking about leaders who may have overstayed their welcome. i'm tempted to say that you must then have been glutton for
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punishment. >> guest: yes. >> host: what did you hope you could achieve when you took on the role that many people thought was going to fail. >> guest: i know that many people consider that mission impossible. >> host: and your success as well. >> guest: yes. but i could not have said no. when i saw the killing and the misery. and the potential for a crisis in syria that was likely to spill over the borders of syria. in effect the whole region. syria is not libya. people tend to make some simplistic comparisons. serial will not implode. area could explode beyond the borders. and create problems for everybody. and i felt that i had to try. i gave it a shot. i did my best. but, of course, in the end, i
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have to let go because the government in particular was in transit. their position had also picked up, and there was increasing militarization of the conflict. the region was divided in the security council gave me the mandate was also divided, even though i tried very hard to bring them together. the last effort was meeting in geneva on the 30th of june where i brought together the foreign ministers and the members of the security council. iraq, turkey, kuwait, and the secretaries general in the u.n. we came to an agreement on political settlement that we needed political transition.
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we need to define what it meant. that will mean an interim government with full political powers. forces of topknot leadership. that will manage continuity and services so that you don't have chaotic collapse. the moment you begin talking up interim government with full powers -- it has to be before the process. for others, he leaves during the process. and i have thought that they would come to new york and endorse it on the security council. but instead, they got into another acrimonious discussion on the 19th of june and that was
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that. >> host: you worry that gave them a fig leaf in the process of negotiating, but actually does to carry on killing people? >> that is what some people say. but i believe that the elements of the six-point plan will have to be implemented sooner or later. it was designed to end the violence and ensure that the thousands in prisons would be released. free access to humanitarian help. to create an environment that will lead us to the political discussions, which will have to come. but when they say that they gave
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this -- first of all, i came in a year after the conflict started. and i'm sure they are going to say that this was taken on. what should have been done, could have been done by the international committee, that the discussion stopped with a stop us from doing. i also felt that if we had had a concerted and determined to support with pressure on the parties, we probably could have had a chance with it when. >> host: political pressure from where? >> guest: united international community. >> host: given that the international community was never united and russia was not going to really put pressure on
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bashar al-assad, your mission, in a sense, was set up to fail. and that gave bashar al-assad an excuse to carry on killing his citizens. >> guest: i'm not sure that you are entirely right. i know the idea that people say. that you had many people, even today who are not interested in any negotiations and any diplomatic effort. they see the only solution is a military one. they are waiting for intervention and war arms to be able to get rid of bashar al-assad. that is one option. but we need to be careful not just of one individual, a sod
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unturned. my approach, which i talked about the annan plan, security council endorsed it through a resolution, which all five permanent members signed on to. and they should have gone in to put pressure on the parties. for example, on the 12th of april, when the cease-fire went into force, that morning from the whole country was quiet. both sides stop fighting. for a wild, violence went down. 80% and then it escalated again. what do the countries do to try to help consolidate this and put pressure on the friends in the region that they are supporting to go along with the cease-fire? because if you do not the
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political transition plan, getting rid of bashar al-assad will not be enough. but i should not complicate his life. he is a brilliant mediator, a very wise man i think that if he gives his support, united's work support from the security council, he may make a difference. paul: that's a very good answer. you say in the book, we are talking about the arab spring, that you remain optimistic about the changes that are taking place in the middle east. there are examples of don't know what those changes are going to be. what makes you optimistic? >> i think the optimism comes from the fact that for the first time in decades, the people in
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those countries are standing up to discuss how they are governed and by whom. and to demand a say in their own destiny. i firmly believe that healthy societies are built on paperless stability. the second one is development and growth, and the third, the most important is respect for rule of the and human rights. because honestly, you cannot have long-term development without stability without the development. they both have to be rooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights. if we have tended in the past, as a community, including the u.s. when we are dealing with
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these nations to focus on the first pillar of stability, mr. president, a stable economic environment, which is often the most important. this is what the people are demanding in the end, it does bode well if they persist and work with leaders from the should be able to build a healthy society based on the truth of this. >> host: do you think it is a lack of adherence by the international community to those three pillars and the third pillar, that has perhaps made peace in the middle east something that was a huge part in so difficult to achieve. >> guest: i think that is part of it.
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in the sense that -- they didn't want to take on france. they didn't want to criticize. everyone approached this problem very softly. there was a tendency to really focus on security, arms exchange, and changes to stability. talking about the rule block and human rights. they did it in other parts of the world in that region. because of sensitivity, and i think that the people have broadband that change. the arab spring has opened the door, and now governments are speaking much more broadly about human rights and rule block. >> host: he spoke about day in the united states having a reflective reaction against any
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palestinian utilization of the united nation nations. do you think america is standing in the way of a broader peace effort in the middle east? >> guest: i don't say that america is winning in the way. what i can say is that it will require a sustained and determined effort by the u.s., working with some of the countries in the region and partners to bring about peace in the region. it has not been sustained. in fact, i'm not sure that i can say that there is a peace process today. i think the u.s. has such a pivotal role to y. both parties look to you as leadership in the u.s. it there is times when they
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looked to see if one had gotten very close. it was when president clinton was trying to get a solution. working day and night. at that point, it seemed very close. since then, we haven't been that close. and they haven't been giving a real effort, and there are people who are now beginning to wonder about the solution, then it's not evaporating, that there may be questionable basis that tuesday's to have solution. >> host: your book is called "interventions: a life in war and peace." i must ask you finally whether you, looking back at your long career in global affairs, has there been more war or more peace? >> guest: in terms of war, we have had fewer civil wars today
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than we had in the past. there are also fewer interstate wars. we had other problems. we are dealing with a world that has so many problems. not just wars between states. but internationally organized crime, we have concerns of weapons of mass distraction. we have concerns with the environment and its impact on our lives. we have health issues with the avian flu and things that can spread around the world very quickly. in terms of wars, there are fewer wars today, but there are many other problems that we need to deal with in addition to wars, which either do not exist where we were not entirely conscious of.